NORFOLK -- The Red Cross is making an emergency appeal for people to donate blood and platelets.

Donations always drop off during the summer, once students are out of college and families go on vacation. This year, it's worse than usual.

Nationwide, donations through the Red Cross were down approximately 10 percent in June, resulting in about 50,000 fewer donations than expected. July is following that same trend.

To make an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS. Can you take the extra time to donate platelets? They are the clotting factor in blood and only have a shelf life of 5 days. Officials say the number one use in our community is for people battling cancer and leukemia. To see if you are a good candidate to donate platelets, call 757-623-4880.

To check on donation locations where you live,click here for the Red Cross Website and enter your zip code in the box on the right hand side of the page.

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